Update: Wi-LAN Inc. has been halted at 10:13 a.m. PT on Oct. 23, 2013, pending news.
Shares of Wi-LAN (TSX:WIN), which have perked up in light of the company’s recent success outside the courtroom have stalled as investors await a verdict from inside it.
Wi-LAN’s current case, filed more than two years ago in the U.S. District Court in Texas, alleged that Apple, Dell and Hewlett-Packard infringed on Wi-Fi and CDMA patents that Wi-LAN owns. Wi-LAN has since settled licensing agreements with HP and Dell.
The two Wi-LAN patents in question are U.S. Patent Numbers RE37,802 and 5,282,222. The first patent, issued in July 2002, is titled “Multicode direct sequence spread spectrum.” The second patent, issued in 1994, is called “Method and apparatus for multiple access between transceivers in wireless communications using OFDM spread spectrum.”
The imminent Apple verdict could mean millions a year to Wi-LAN. Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Justin Kew, who has a BUY rating and a $6.00 one-year price on Wi-LAN, estimates that a settlement with Apple could be as impactful as Wi-LAN’s expanded agreement with Samsung, which he estimates to be worth $15 to $30-million per year.
A settlement, however, looks less likely this week as Apple on Monday asked the judge in the case to declare a mistrial, claiming that Wi-LAN had improperly biased a jury by twice asking a question it had agreed not to ask in trial.
Shareholders convening on the Stockhouse message board for Wi-LAN were nervous. User “inoutorhold” perhaps best summed up the prevailing sentiment:
“Ok…thats it for me. Nothing more until we hear news. What’s the point? If we win I will be happy to celebrate with you all. If we lose I will admittedly be devastated and can assure you I will be exiting. Best to all!”
But user “charm7” wasn’t putting all his eggs in the Apple basket.
“This one patent case will not make or break Wi-Lan. This company is a winner just look at all the contracts they have signed this year. Cash rich no debt and a great team led by JS. The future for Wi-Lan is as bright as it has ever been.”
At press time, shares of Wi-LAN on the TSX were down 2.6% to $4.07.